When I first came to Canyons School District, I was impressed. It’s hard not to be moved by the stunning mountains and landscape that surround our schools and communities, but my awe came from a place of much more significance. As an educator of 30 years who served as a teacher, principal and superintendent, I have developed a deep appreciation for the dedication and commitment to excellence displayed by the teachers, staff and principals in CSD.
The Board of Education, parents, students, community leaders and educators who were instrumental in the creation of CSD in 2009 should be proud. Canyons started with a mandate from its stakeholders to be innovative, responsive and relentless in the pursuit of excellence in teaching and student learning. The mission of CSD is for all students to become college- and career-ready when they graduate high school.
Canyons District’s K-8 students continue to outperform their Utah peers on year-end SAGE tests, in some areas by as many as 13 percentage points. Our high school seniors also outperform their Utah peers, with a higher percentage meeting college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college entrance exam and passing Advanced Placement exams.
Our graduation rate in 2019 reached 90 percent, a one percent increase over the year prior and 7 percent jump in five years. All student groups are graduating in greater numbers, including those who typically face the greatest obstacles to academic success.
Our teachers and employees also continue to receive national and state recognition for their excellence. I want to personally thank our parents, state representatives and community members for your support since the inception of Canyons School District. With your support, our students will continue to receive a wide range of opportunities to learn and become college- and career-ready. As Plato once said, “The direction in which education starts a man [or woman] will determine his [or her] future life.” Together we will continue to strive for excellence in education.
Meet the Superintendent
Dr. James Briscoe was selected as superintendent of Canyons School District, effective July 1, 2014. Dr. Briscoe served as a leader in public education for 32 years in the midwest before relocating to Utah. He served as a middle school teacher for three years, dean of students and high school assistant principal for eight years; a high school principal for nine years; and a superintendent for 12 years. As Superintendent, Briscoe remains highly visible and accessible to families, students and staff as he furthers Canyons’ initiatives and innovative programs to help students become college- and career-ready.